SREL Reprint #0033




The Eight-year Trend in Quail and Dove Call Counts in the AEC Savannah River Plant Area


F. B. Golley



The response of bobwhite quail and mourning doves to land abandonment for farming on the Savannah River Project was studied by the call count technique. Standardized census routes were operated inside of the Project from 1952, when the Savannah River Project was established, to 1959 and outside of the Project from 1952 to 1956. The call counts showed that the populations of calling quail increased dramatically within but remained constant outside the Project, while dove populations fluctuated widely around a mean of about 30 birds calling per census route. The differential response of these species to land abandonment was partly explained by their ecological requirements.Quail, a ground-nesting, omnivorous species, would be expected to benefit more from the early stages of plant succession on old-fields than would the mourning dove.

The multiple regression analysis of the data permitted an evaluation of the variables which influence call counts. The factors: time of year, observer, temperature, and wind were significant variables but not consistently significant each year of the study. The multiple correlation coefficient indicated that less than 50% of the variation in the counts was accounted for by the variables considered in the analysis. These results suggested that the experimental design of the standard call count census might be improved to reduce the variability in the counts.


SREL Reprint #0033


Golley, F.B. 1962. The eight year trend in quail and dove call counts in the AEC Savannah River Plant area. p. 212 224. In Twenty Seventh North American Wildlife Natural Resources Conference, Wildlife Management Institute. Washington, D.C.


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